Friday, February 17, 2012

That "Round" Feeling

Here is a terrific article from Jane Savoie that I thought you may enjoy!

What Does It Look And Feel Like When Your Horse Is On The Bit?

Many Riders are confused about how to tell if their horses are honestly on the bit. Below is a description of what it looks and feels like when your horse is honestly connected.

What Does it Look Like?
  • Hindquarters: You want to see active hindquarters and your horse stepping well under himself.
  • Back: Just behind the saddle, the back should look round, not dipped and hollow.
  • Neck: If you’re sitting on your horse and looking at his neck, it should be widest at the base, just in front of the withers, and get progressively more narrow toward his ears. If you’re looking at your horse’s neck from the side and you see a dip 4 or 5 inches in front of the withers (or a narrow area when viewed from above), that’s a visual signal that he is not really ‘through’ and connected. If the neck is widest in middle, or widest up by the ears, then your horse is being pulled into a frame instead of being correctly connected from back to front. He should get ‘pumped up’ or ‘bloom’ at the base of the neck, meaning it’s the widest point.
  • Poll: Ideally, the poll is the highest point.
  • Nose: The nose should be 5 degrees in front of the vertical.
What Does It Feel Like?
  • Suppleness & Connection: You should feel an elastic connection with your horse’s mouth, His back should feel like it’s swinging underneath you; it shouldn’t feel rigid.
  • The Zone of All Possibilities: Your horse should feel ready to respond to any request within the next step. If you want to go from trot to canter or do a leg-yield and your horse is really connected, these movements are simple Savoie explains. If your horse is not connected, then those things become very complicated. But if your horse is really on the bit, you can switch to a new gait or a different exercise almost just by thinking it, rather than actually applying aids.
  • Horse and Rider Comfort: For people who have trouble sitting to the trot or canter, the horse will become more comfortable to sit on when he’s connected, compared to when his back is hollow. From the horse’s point of view, he’ll also be more comfortable when you’re not pounding on his back and making him sore.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Lessons Cancelled Today

Good Morning Saturday Riders! Unfortunately, it is quite chilly out there again this morning, -13c but feels like -22c with the windchill. We've been very lucky with the mild winter this year but when it does get cold, it gets COLD! So, we realize that this is the second Saturday that we have had to cancel this session. If you are able to schedule a make-up lesson that would be greatly appreciated. Just email Nikki or give her a call this afternoon. If not, we can deduct this class off next session's fees. Stay warm today and see you soon!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Show Team Meeting Friday!

Friday, February 10th, 6:30 – 8:30pm
Nobleton Community Center

Come out and meet your fellow teammates, information session, show selection forms, Eventing Physics seminar by Heather Gamble, PHD and more!

If this is your first season showing and you have no idea what “Show Boarding”, “Eventing vs. Combined Test” or “Omnibus” means, don’t panic, we’ll fill you in!

Did you miss show team try-outs and are now desperately wanting to compete?  Speak with Lindsay or Nikki  (or send an email, and we’ll see what we can sort out for you. 

We are going to run the meeting as a pot-luck this year to cut down on costs.  If you are willing to bring something, there is a sign-up sheet in the tack-up area.  The cost of the hall rental did go up though, so we are asking that each team member contribute $5.00 to cover the room fee.  We think it’s a small price to pay so that we can all be warm and meet together.

There is also a map to the community center below.  See you all there!

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